Donte Whitner, a professional troll who also happens to play safety for the Cleveland Browns, was the topic du jour with players in the Buffalo Bills' locker room on Wednesday. Two of his former teammates spoke honestly about how they think of Whitner, now more than three seasons removed from the end of his Bills career.
Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller, and Aaron Williams all spoke with reporters about Whitner, who played in Buffalo for the first five seasons of his NFL career. He last suited up in a Bills uniform in 2010, and therefore spent four seasons as a teammate of Jackson, and one season with Spiller. (Williams didn't join the Bills until 2011.)
The common theme of the discussions? Bills players aren't thrilled with the anti-Buffalo antics that Whitner has employed, largely via social media, over the last several months. (For a bit more perspective on the most recent of his long list of troll jobs, read this and/or this.) Case in point (and there are more cases, which Google can happily drudge up for you if necessary):
Can you say Toronto Bills?!?!?!?!— DonteHitner (@DonteWhitner) July 4, 2014
(This is how Whitner chose to spend part of his Independence Day, by the way.)
The three Bills responded in kind, but it was Jackson's words that carried the most weight. Jackson is one of the most respected veteran players in the entirety of the NFL.
Spiller on Whitner: To say what he said about team that made your dream come true it says a lot about his character.— Thad Brown (@thadbrown7) November 26, 2014
Aaron Williams on getting into Whitner/Sammy twitter war months ago: Just backing up my teammate.— Thad Brown (@thadbrown7) November 26, 2014
"That's just him being him," Jackson said (via The Buffalo News). "Donte is a guy that likes to ruffle feathers. He found any way he could to try and ruffle Buffalo's feathers, knowing he had to come up to us. That's just him doing what he does, at the same time, I mean, it's annoying. It's just dumb for him to do, and talk about people like that, and talk about the city of Buffalo like that. You've just got to take it with a grain of salt and say it's just some dude that's being an idiot about some stuff."
More from Jackson: "You can't respect anybody that would say something about whatever it may be - a race of people, or somebody's beliefs or anything like that. If you talk down to anybody, you can't be respected. That's just me, that's how I feel about it. For him to say stuff about that, about people that we love in this organization, he'll never get my respect for that."
You'd be hard-pressed to name a NFL player that's more unpopular in Buffalo than Whitner, and with Bills players now joining the fray, there's no love lost between either side. Some of this may seem petty, but in a NFL culture where it's far easier to talk around something interesting, it's fascinating to see the Bills responded in such curt and orchestrated fashion. Clearly, there is no love lost between these two sides.
Who here thinks that the Browns' defense will be introduced before the game on Sunday?